UConn 66, Syracuse 58: Kevin Ollie’s Take

by Categorized: Big East, DeAndre Daniels, Enosch Wolf, Jim Boeheim, Kevin Ollie, Niels Giffey, Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier, Syracuse basketball, UConn men's basketball


 HARTFORD – Some highlights of Kevin Ollie’s remarks following UConn’s win over Syracuse:

“It was a great game by our guys.  We played with energy, effort and focus. … I have big-time faith in our guys. I know [Syracuse] is long. But we’ve got heart. [Syracuse] got heart too, but you can’t measure what we’ve done, the grit these guys have got, how they dig deep and how they were determined to show America that we’re a good team. We were just going to find a way like they’ve been doing forever. Like they’ve been doing all season.

“[The coaches] gave it to them and they executed. They did the big part.”

“It’s kind of hard with the rivalry being over with.  Hopefully we’ll be able to play somewhere, somehow.” 

“The crowd was great.  They pushed us through….Hopefully our fans really saw our heart and our dedication out there tonight.” 

“Our guards, it starts and stops with them.  And they played tremendous defense.  You see a guy like Michael Carter-Williams, a great player, get one assist.  And we hold a team with so much talent to 35 percent, it really shows the hard work and dedication they put in.”

“With all the obstacles, there is always opportunity behind those obstacles.  Once again, they fought all obstacles and made it through and came out with a fantastic win. ” 

“We just moved the basketball [against their zone].  We were hitting shots.  Our defense really gave us the opportunity to get out on the break a little bit.  We gave up too many offensive rebounds, but that’s going to happen.  But when we got into the halfcourt, we converted.  It was just great ball movement from our guards….It was just a great ball movement game.  We got the ball from side to side.” 

“Omar [Calhoun] was spectacular shooting the ball.  Our guards got him shots in the open court.”

“We’re just one of the purest teams playing right now.  We’re not playing for the post season.  We’re playing for the love of UConn.  We’re playing for the love of each other.  We’re playing for the pride of getting better.  They can’t ban us from that.  They can ban us from the postseason, they can ban us from the Big East tournament, but they can’t ban us from getting better and loving each other.  They really love being around each other, and it shows.”

“Every guy that played on our roster came in and contributed.  Tyler [Olander] did a good job, Niels [Giffey] did an excellent job. When we have that [smaller] group in, if we get defensive rebounds, we’re going to present matchup problems. … Phil, even before this [Wolf] thing happened, he was preparing for his opportunity.”

“Everybody understands that you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone if you want to beat Syracuse. It was a great first half and second half, it was a complete game.”

“Michigan State, they’re like [No.3], so I’m counting them. But this is a great win. This is big-time, but we can’t have a let-down.  We can’t lay on our success. We have to get back to work tomorrow.”

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9 thoughts on “UConn 66, Syracuse 58: Kevin Ollie’s Take

  1. Dan Hickey

    This season has been one of the most heartwarming seasons To see this team pull together for their new coach They are a true inspiration If KO doesnt get votes for BE coach of the year there should be an investigation Letsclose out a great, great year

  2. bahmi

    Jim Calhoun was right! Kevin Ollie has the right stuff and the players are working hard for him. He’s a smooth operator, we are so lucky to have KO in our corner.

  3. Paul

    I was at the game last night and it was amazing. Lots of energy. My good friend who is a huge Carolina fan texted me after the game “You guys have a special one in Kevin Ollie” I couldnt agree more. I knew he was the man for the job and his heart, determination, and hard work that had him play in the NBA for so many years is showing in these kids. These kids love to play for him. We love to watch!

  4. TB

    I know that there are some Calhoun haters out there but he put UCONN basketball on the map. His final gift to the program, KO, cements his legacy and all I can say is thanks Jim (again).

    1. 81Alum

      Might I second that? Thanks, Coach Calhoun. You brought us a great one in KO, as a player and now as your successor.

    2. Uconnphann

      You must be too young to know. UConn basketball was on the map way before Calhoun showed up.
      Calhoun had the best players all on the honor system–yes your honor, no your honor!!!
      Calhoun shopped for the worst of the ghetto kids.
      Kevin Ollie has taken Calhoun left overs (left after his antic got Uconn suspended) and those that transferred and made a great team. It looks like those that stayed — had guts, decency, honesty and knew how to play the game with a great coach–Kevin Ollie.

  5. MY Uconn

    Toby Kimball, Wes, Corley, Bobby Boyd, Tommy Pender, Walker, and a thousand others like them. Engineering Studends, PreMed students, College Students all.
    They put Uconn on the map. You’d sit on the hard bleacher seats of the Old Field house and cheer with gusto. After braving howling wind, across a snow packed parking lot to get there. Then along with Tommy Thompson Uconn’s center, we’d scream JAM THE RAM’S. Was Basketball less enjoyable or less attended. WTIC TV showed the games and WTIC radio did the voice—great games.
    All those that followed UConn then, many are left to follow it now. It has progressed and regressed but with Kevin Ollie I expect the hay day of UConn Basketball shall return with decency and great basketball.

  6. joanne

    KO is definitely the right man for the job. I love what he’s done to-date, restoring pride to UConn in spite of this year’s sanctions,and putting the UConn name & brand out there with the way he’s put together strategies to win & gets them to execute. We’ve seen in the past how Uconn teams with more “talented” players can underachieve, become selfish or self-centered. Not this “gang of brothers”! Right now, I am relishing the remaining games & will be tuned out for the men’s BB postseason.

  7. ray-ray

    this team should go down as one of the most memorable ones along with the 3 champs.if ollie isnt coach of year they should disband award.to do so much with so much adversity is incredible.can u imagine being a syracuse fan with a nba loaded team and losing to cripled uconn?
    take that to the acc.

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